The Journal of surgical research

Up-regulation of IRAK-M is essential for endotoxin tolerance induced by a low dose of lipopolysaccharide in Kupffer cells.

PMID 18533191


Endotoxin tolerance (ET) is an important mechanism to maintain the homeostasis of Kupffer cells (KCs), because KCs are continually exposed to various pathogen-associated molecular patterns including lipopolysaccharide (LPS). ET involves multiple changes in cell signal transduction pathways; however, not all signaling pathways are down-regulated and some proteins are up-regulated. The latter proteins may be counter regulatory, including interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase M (IRAK-M) expression. The aim of this study is to clarify weather or not IRAK-M is involved in the mechanisms of ET in KCs through dampening nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) mediated pathway. KCs isolated from male C57BL/6J mice were seeded in 24-well plates at 1 x 10(6) cells/well and cultured overnight prior to transfection, were randomly divided into two groups: the pIRAK-M-short hairpin RNA (shRNA) group (transfected with IRAK-M shRNA) and the control group (transfected with control vector); 24 h after transfection, the two groups were further randomly divided into two subgroups: non-endotoxin pretreatment group (incubation in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium [Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA] with 10% fetal bovine serum) and endotoxin pretreatment group (incubation in the same medium containing 10 ng/mL LPS), named pIRAK-M-EP, pIRAK-M-NEP, pCV-EP, and pCV-NEP, respectively. Each subgroup contained 6 wells; 24 h later, fresh media containing LPS (100 ng/mL) was added to each subgroup and incubated for an additional 3 h. The expression of IRAK-M gene and protein level were determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot, the activities of NF-kappaB were estimated by electrophoretic mobility shift assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the supernatant tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The recombinant plasmid of pIRAK-M-shRNA specifically inhibited IRAK-M expression after it was transfected into KCs. At 3 h after 100 ng/mL LPS was added to the medium, IRAK-M expression was significantly induced in pCV-EP than that in pCV-NEP; however, there was no difference between pIRAK-M-NEP and pIRAK-M-EP, accompanied with lowest level of NF-kappaB activation and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels in pCV-EP, and a dramatic enhancement in the other three groups (P < 0.01). Although a primary low dose of LPS stimulation obviously attenuated KCs response to the second LPS stimulation, the inhibitive influences were partly refracted in pIRAK-M-EP than in pCV-EP, indicating that the absence of IRAK-M caused abnormal enhancement of inflammatory effects. IRAK-M negatively regulates toll-like receptors signaling and involves in the mechanisms of ET in KCs through dampening NF-kappaB mediated pathway; therefore it may be a key component of this important control system, and a new target for the clinical treatment of sepsis.